DAVAO CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry-Davao Region (DTI-Davao)-assisted 115 micro, small and medium enterprises generated a total of P3.090 million in sales during the Mindanao Trade Expo (MTE) Kadayawan edition in August at Abreeza Ayala Mall here.

The local entrepreneurs were from the wearables and homestyle, arts and crafts, furniture and furnishings, and fresh and processed fruits sectors, representing the different cities and municipalities in the region.

Among the participating MSMEs, those from Davao Oriental posted the highest sales at P1.196, or 38.7 percent of the total.

DTI-Davao Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi gladly shared that a huge portion of the total sales, or a whopping 77.6 percent, was in cash. Meanwhile, booked and under-negotiation sales accounted for 17.2 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively.

The local trade chief further said that the conduct of the MTE during the Kadayawan month is a wise move because of the influx of visitors, which must have contributed a lot to the success of the MSMEs joining it.

“The participation of our MSMEs in the fair was aimed at showcasing the region’s new as well as the newly innovated and designed products that speak of Davao’s potential, rich culture, tradition and heritage, and abundance of natural resources,” Ambi noted. “The market responded well to these product offerings; hence, the favorable outcomes.”

Ambi added that increased market reach could result in a high profit margin. As a ripple effect, this can positively impact the economy, particularly in the generation of more jobs and investments.

The trade event organizer, the MTE Foundation, Incorporated, adopted the theme “Buy local, support MSMEs” to show its commitment to local producers, crafters, and entrepreneurs in general, which Ambi emphasized as a tangible move to promote homegrown brands continuously.

In the meantime, the DTI-Davao top official lauded the local government units (LGUs) that have already passed resolutions toward building a more robust domestic market.

“We would like to extend our utmost appreciation to the LGUs that have recently passed resolutions or ordinances to support the ‘Buy Local’ campaign by allocating at least 10 percent of their procurement to local MSME products in the conduct of their activities and as tokens or gifts to their visitors,” she said.

Ambi explained that such a decision would mean that apart from the economic benefits, MSMEs must also be prepared. Their products must be ready in terms of volume and competitive pricing, among other things. Likewise, their documents must be ready to eventually qualify as suppliers of these procuring entities.

“DTI will continue to implement its programs to address these concerns and issues on access to finance, technology, and market. Recognizing the need to collaborate with other agencies and the private sector, may we continue to work together to push and empower our local entrepreneurs as they actively play their roles in creating vibrant economic activities in their respective communities, providing jobs, and contributing to the country’s full economic recovery,” she added.

DTI-Davao has been staunched in its drive to empower MSMEs as they continue to build their sustainability. As such, the agency spearheads interventions and initiatives geared toward this purpose. These include product development, skills improvement, and marketing training and seminars.

For 2023, DTI-Davao is set to conduct 268 training interventions for 5,000 MSMEs throughout the region. As of August this year, the office has already conducted 732, which benefitted 17,334 MSMEs. DTI-DAVAO